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Author Topic: [209] Bitter Work  (Read 34608 times)
Attoroc
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« Reply #25 on: Jun 03, 2006 04:18 pm »

I loved it.  That pretty much sums it up right there.

Toph's teaching style was..umm... different, but that was good, it provided a challenge for Aang, and pushed him to learn it.  He's going to have to do that if he wants to learn all this by the end of summer.  That "sifu Katara" moment was very touching.  Sokka's incoherent grumblings at the beginning made me laugh, although I got a little bored of his experience with the cute little elephant thing of earthbendingness.  I had a sort of "groan" moment when they finally realized that air and earth are opposites and wondered why it took them so long to figure out.(maybe cuz I play Golden Sun, where air and earth ARE opposites..).  Oh, and Toph the rock monster XD

This was a great episode for Iroh and Zuko too.  That flashback stirred up something in me, and Iroh outdid himself in great quotes.  "That's why we're having tea, right? To clear the mind?" "Oh, good point."  That was a great moment for Iroh.  I'm interested to see how they develop his discovery about "dah bahlahnce"(I love how he says that) between the four elements.  That's gotta be important for later on.  Zuko w/lightning and Aang w/rocks, two people having things a-splode in their faces... man...  And Zuko on the mountain was a very emotional moment, even more stirring to me than the flashback.  That's going to have some significance later; I think it will awaken something in him, somehow...

9 out of 10

Edit: I just watched it again on itunes and made some realizations
-When Toph was talking about stances and Aang had his little wimpy one, I was waiting for her to say "wider!" ala deserter
-Toph's comment about earthbending needing him to be like a rock->it's not just for earthbending; Aang's going to have to learn to stand his ground better when faced with things like that, not just e.b.-ing.  It may be hard, with him being an airbender, but that makes it an even more essential skill.
-I just noticed Iroh throwing Zuko's tea out the window XD that's hilarious!
-Toph's teaching style matches her words: You've got to face it head on
-Iroh "You do not command the lightning you are it's humble guide."  That's going to be hard for Zuko to learn, because he's so used to being in control.  Also, does this affect Uncle's other move?  Will Zuko be able to guide it through him?
-FooFoo Cuddly Poops reminds me of my dog
« Last Edit: Jun 03, 2006 05:28 pm by Attoroc » Logged


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Crazy4Avatar
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« Reply #26 on: Jun 03, 2006 06:39 pm »

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I was hoping that maybe Zuko would learn to use lighting by the end of the show but i guess not this episode.. it will be very intresting to see him and Azula fight once he learns....

I've got to agree with you on that one. I can't wait to see the look on the Lunatic's face when Zuko hurls a lightning bolt at her!

PS: If anyone is curious as to who the "Lunatic" is, that's a nickname I made up for Azula.
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« Reply #27 on: Jun 03, 2006 07:37 pm »

I really enjoyed this episode, and it is pretty up there as far as season two goes.

I absolutely LOVED Toph. She was just amazing, especially in the beginning when she tells Katara in her 'sunshine-and-buttercups' sweet voice that she'll gentely nudge Aang, and in the next scene is being loud, tough, and unfriendly. Also her 'taunting confidence' act was pretty good; She knew Aang could earthbend all along, but only by being mean and pushy and taking his stuff did she provoke him into proving it to himself.

The scenes between Zuko and Iroh were also especially good, Zuko in particular, as you can see he's literally starting to fall apart. I really liked the end scene. He's alone, screaming on that mountain top in the middle of the storm, wanting to get struck by lightning. I honestly think it was more impacting that he DIDN'T get struck, than if he did and showed that he was able to deflect it. And those first tears? It really puts his whole future into question. One thing I am worried about though, is Iroh. He seems to be fine, but I think that there may be more to his injury than meets the eye. First off, he took a direct hit from blue fire. Blue fire is more powerful and deadly than orange or red, and even a tough old general like him would be lucky to survive a direct hit like that without special healing or bending. Second, throughout the episode, such as when he is talking with Zuko in the hut and after he demonstrates his lightning ability to Zuko, he rubs his injured spot. I think that maybe he is more injured than he is letting on, and is perhaps only pretending to be fine to put on a brave face for Zuko. Finally, his comment at Luten's grave in his flashback... I don't know, but he seems to be hinting he won't be around for too long... I hope not though. Uncle Iroh is one of my favorite characters; He's quite powerful, but also extremely wise and always entertaining with his subtle humor. It'd be a shame to see him go.

Last, but not least, the issue of Sokka. Now, I'm not a raving Sokka fan, but even I think he's been getting kicked around a little TOO much lately. The whole humiliating 'jam' was enough, but then at the end when he was blatantly ignored by Katara as he was expressing his profound life-and-death experience with her... Between this and Toph's comment in "The Chase", I think that they may be building up towards future character development in the future, probably dealing with his equal value on the team, despite his lack of bending. At least, I hope so. He's a great character to bring humor, but he needs more seriousness and equal value (compared to Toph or Katara) like his interactions in "The Siege of the North" parts I and II. He was still mainly the 'meat and sarcasm' guy, but he had alot more depth in terms of his romance and value as a warrior and strategist.
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« Reply #28 on: Jun 03, 2006 09:42 pm »

I made my responses at the KZ lj community, along with the other 90 comments from other members here.

But to sum it all up:

Eppisode 2x09 revived the Zutara shipper in me all over again!

Zuko's wonderful smile when the mentioning of Waterbenders was SO SUSPICIOUS to me. I know he thought about Katara. *squee* (Or at least Katara-related. She's the only Waterbender he's seen in up close action, right? Or at least the only one he's fought.)

I LOVED the attention each character had in this episode: Sokka's near-to-death (can we call it that?) experience and his empty promises. I especially loved it when he tried to explain Katara his realizations, and Aang (being the annoying yet adorable 12 year old he is) inturrupted by showing Katara his new found earthbending ability.

TophxAang love yay!

And Aang letting go of his fears. *giddy*

Toph was so right about Aang, he runs away from things and sticks to the familiar. That's what got him into the whole mess of disappearing for such a long time. He ran away from his responsibilities.

And clinging to the familiar? = Katara's kind teaching and Aang not accepting Tophs rough (extremely shippable) ways.

All in all.
I LOVED THIS EPISODE! It was fore-shadowy in that "forbidden-non-officially-eventual-Zutara & Taang" way.
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« Reply #29 on: Jun 04, 2006 12:45 am »

Quote from: thespoiledprincess
Zuko's wonderful smile when the mentioning of Waterbenders was SO SUSPICIOUS to me. I know he thought about Katara. *squee* (Or at least Katara-related. She's the only Waterbender he's seen in up close action, right? Or at least the only one he's fought.)

Perhaps he did think of Katara when Iroh said "waterbender," but I'm more inclined to take it as an "oh, wow, Uncle knows a move Azula does NOT know, AND to top it all off it's from the very type of people who soundly kicked my ass last time! Rock on!" Iroh is crafty; Zuko is learning from the best, and at this point Iroh truly IS the only one who a) understands his inner turmoil, and b) knows the path to inner peace. This is what Zuko's training is also about... Zuko may have the correct stances and moves and all of that, but it's his ATTITUDE that needs adjusting. Without that, everything will continue to keep exploding in his face.

By the way, anyone catch how his voice broke when he couldn't create lightning? THAT was truly telling... and I know because I've been trying to catch inflection in his voice for transcript dialogue. His tone has always been almost PRECISELY the same: plain old intense. His macho facade really is beginning to break down (thank God). This episode truly was the zenith of Zuko angst; he dares a storm to strike him with lightning? So he can prove what, exactly? It IS telling that he wasn't struck: he's not ready. He wants it too much, and the more he dives for it the more it is going to elude him. Zuko needs to let go... and crying really was his first step. He's going to still be intense, but he's going to learn how to not let it control him. I cite this episode as the turning point for Zuko's character, and it was MASTERFULLY executed.

The beginning scenes when Iroh was unconscious? His flashbacks with his son? I damn near cried for him, I can't lie... he loved his son so much. I'd hug him... but that'd probably cause him a lot of pain. Wink At any rate, the flashback scenes of him with his young son and the grave in the rain were very touching. While some may consider this foreshadowing to Iroh's death (I definitely read that someplace), I am going to go with the other possibility of the reason behind Iroh's trip to the Spirit World. I'm just really antsy to find out the motives behind such a journey, and I do believe this to be the most likely scenario.

His talk about the four nations, by the way, was excellent and awesome. I just hope Zuko comes to embody some of that wisdom, because it really is best for everyone, and him especially. Zuko has been off balance for many years, and coming to understand the need for balance in ALL things is vital to his own inner peace.

By the way, I totally want one of those. Show of hands, now... who agrees with me?

And last but not least, Toph... call me crazy, but I enjoyed her style of teaching. Her element IS stubborn, and it IS solid... like she is. To get praise out of her, you need to damn well do it right. She doesn't sugarcoat, because earth is NOT a flimsy element; it is BLUNT, as is she. Even when she's yelling at him, she isn't unfair: Toph DID say that his stance and position were perfect when he jumped to avoid the boulder, after all. He just needed follow through... and she wasn't gonna be nice about saying it. It's a refreshing approach, and will help Aang become more rounded.

Oh, Sokka... well, I adore you and all your sticky situations. Maybe next time you'll have more luck with that whole hunting thing, huh? At least you made a friend! Cheesy

I have to just set the record straight on things that have been bugging me, nitpicky things: the cub's name is Fu Fu Cuddlypoops. Not Fuddly Cuddly whatever... Fu Fu. Also, he is a sabertoothed MOOSElion. Not a mouselion... the plural of "mouse" is "mice," and they live in the walls of my dorm. Very important distinction to be made.

This episode was so full of yay, I don't want to make a list that long. Excellent installment
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« Reply #30 on: Jun 04, 2006 03:43 am »

Great episode!  (I was very upset that my VCR cut off the last 3 minutes, but hooray for the Saturday rerun!)

*Toph: She reminds me of one of my old band directors with her tough tactics.  She acts like wanker, but with a constructive purpose.  And in the end, her objective was accomplished.

*Sokka: I was reminded of Meg from Family Guy when he began with his, "I learned a lesson..." speech at the end, but was cut off by Aang showing off his new earthbending moves. 
And Fufu Cuddlypoops, reminds me of my dog too.  In fact, I thought it was a moose/wolf hybrid cub at first, not a moose/lion.  Fufu did too much tail wagging for a lion. 

*Iroh: Glad to see he's not gone.  He's actually a very provocative character, and probably one of the only well-balanced members of the Fire Nation.  Hell, even I'm learning a thing or two from him (especially with the, "learn from other cultures and nations" idea lest studying one thing will keep you stagnant).   

 
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« Reply #31 on: Jun 04, 2006 08:30 am »

Eppisode 2x09 revived the Zutara shipper in me all over again!

Zuko's wonderful smile when the mentioning of Waterbenders was SO SUSPICIOUS to me. I know he thought about Katara. *squee* (Or at least Katara-related. She's the only Waterbender he's seen in up close action, right? Or at least the only one he's fought.)
I think the smile had more to do with Zuko being impressed by his uncles ingenuity than it did with any waterbenders he came across.  His relationship with Katara (such as it is) has been almost completely adversarial.  He won't have a chance to nab her until he reforms and finds the inner peace he so desperately needs.  I think he would probably have a better chance to nab her than Aang due to his greater age, though.  He won't have any shot with her now, though (assuming he was even interested in her romantically, that is). 

Quote from: thespoiledprincess
Zuko's wonderful smile when the mentioning of Waterbenders was SO SUSPICIOUS to me. I know he thought about Katara. *squee* (Or at least Katara-related. She's the only Waterbender he's seen in up close action, right? Or at least the only one he's fought.)

Perhaps he did think of Katara when Iroh said "waterbender," but I'm more inclined to take it as an "oh, wow, Uncle knows a move Azula does NOT know, AND to top it all off it's from the very type of people who soundly kicked my ass last time! Rock on!" Iroh is crafty; Zuko is learning from the best, and at this point Iroh truly IS the only one who a) understands his inner turmoil, and b) knows the path to inner peace. This is what Zuko's training is also about... Zuko may have the correct stances and moves and all of that, but it's his ATTITUDE that needs adjusting. Without that, everything will continue to keep exploding in his face.

By the way, anyone catch how his voice broke when he couldn't create lightning? THAT was truly telling... and I know because I've been trying to catch inflection in his voice for transcript dialogue. His tone has always been almost PRECISELY the same: plain old intense. His macho facade really is beginning to break down (thank God). This episode truly was the zenith of Zuko angst; he dares a storm to strike him with lightning? So he can prove what, exactly? It IS telling that he wasn't struck: he's not ready. He wants it too much, and the more he dives for it the more it is going to elude him. Zuko needs to let go... and crying really was his first step. He's going to still be intense, but he's going to learn how to not let it control him. I cite this episode as the turning point for Zuko's character, and it was MASTERFULLY executed.

I caught the change in his inflection as well.  He sounded like he was on the verge of crying.  I think what Zuko desperately needs is a good cry.  I hope he got that while he was up on that mountain.  He has suffered so much and been so thoroughly rejected by his family (Iroh and Ursa excepted) that the pain of it all is clearly bringing him to the point of breaking.  I do agree with you in your thinking he has reached a turning point.  I think that once he finds himself, Azula will no longer be able to hurt him as much.  I can't wait to see the look on her face once he finally bests her in combat.  I also have a sinking he and Iroh will be formally switching sides by season's end (by switching I mean from supporting the Fire Nation to aiding the Earth Kingdom, not necessarily by them joining Aang's group).  Iroh believes in the principle of balance.  The only way this can be achieved is by defeating the Fire Nation.

The beginning scenes when Iroh was unconscious? His flashbacks with his son? I damn near cried for him, I can't lie... he loved his son so much. I'd hug him... but that'd probably cause him a lot of pain. Wink At any rate, the flashback scenes of him with his young son and the grave in the rain were very touching. While some may consider this foreshadowing to Iroh's death (I definitely read that someplace), I am going to go with the other possibility of the reason behind Iroh's trip to the Spirit World. I'm just really antsy to find out the motives behind such a journey, and I do believe this to be the most likely scenario.
I think your contention is correct.  It seemed more to do with his journey to the spirit world than a foreshadowing to his death to me.  I wonder if we will see flashbacks to his journey to the spirit world in the upcoming two parter.  My guess is that his journey to the spirit world will be covered in some detail at some point this season.  Another thing I noticed in that flashback was that Iroh was once thinner in his younger days.  It makes me wonder how much older than Ozai he actually is.

His talk about the four nations, by the way, was excellent and awesome. I just hope Zuko comes to embody some of that wisdom, because it really is best for everyone, and him especially. Zuko has been off balance for many years, and coming to understand the need for balance in ALL things is vital to his own inner peace.
I think Zuko will come to embody some of that wisdom.  The only way he will ever find inner peace is by understanding the need for balance.  Once he does find that inner peace he will finally be able to truly master fire bending.  I think that once he does master firebending, he will be a force to be reckoned with.  He is already a skilled fighter as it is.  Were it not for his anger and intensity, he would be a much more formidable force.  I think that by finding balance and inner peace he will come to a realisation that he does not need his family's approval to find a sense of worth.  His sense of self-worth seems to tied to his family's perception of him.  Once he uncouples his sense of worth from their perception of him, I think he will have an epiphany.  I think his experience at the mountain will prove to be cathartic for him.   

I wonder if his current journey will end up mirroring a similar but opposite journey for Azula.  She has never really failed at anything she did before.  She had her best chance to capture Zuko and Iroh in the first episode but was unsuccessful.  When she tried to capture Aang in the The Chase she failed to do so and was similarly unsuccessful in capturing him in Return to Omashu when she realised who he was.  I must confess to hoping for a downward spiral for her.  While she seems to have interpreted her current lack of success as mere setbacks, I do see her eventually tasting genuine failure at some point this season.  I can't wait to see what it does to her.
 
By the way, I totally want one of those. Show of hands, now... who agrees with me?
Fu Fu Cuddly Poops is just too cute.  Too bad that they grow up to be such ferocious beasts.

And last but not least, Toph... call me crazy, but I enjoyed her style of teaching. Her element IS stubborn, and it IS solid... like she is. To get praise out of her, you need to damn well do it right. She doesn't sugarcoat, because earth is NOT a flimsy element; it is BLUNT, as is she. Even when she's yelling at him, she isn't unfair: Toph DID say that his stance and position were perfect when he jumped to avoid the boulder, after all. He just needed follow through... and she wasn't gonna be nice about saying it. It's a refreshing approach, and will help Aang become more rounded.
She did what she had to do to get Aang over his hump.  I think he needed the rough treatment from her.  If Pakku were as tough with Aang as she was with him, he may not have blown off his training and would be further along in his waterbending proficiency by now.  The reason I think Katara is successful with Aang has less to do with her gentle methods and more to with his massive crush on her.  He wants to impress her and show her he is making progress.  If he didn't have feelings for her, I think he would take his training somewhat less seriously.  He needs to become more serious about both his training and his responsibilities.  He also needs to learn to stand his ground as well.  I think Toph is the perfect person to teach him how.

O
h, Sokka... well, I adore you and all your sticky situations. Maybe next time you'll have more luck with that whole hunting thing, huh? At least you made a friend! Cheesy

I have to just set the record straight on things that have been bugging me, nitpicky things: the cub's name is Fu Fu Cuddlypoops. Not Fuddly Cuddly whatever... Fu Fu. Also, he is a sabertoothed MOOSElion. Not a mouselion... the plural of "mouse" is "mice," and they live in the walls of my dorm. Very important distinction to be made.

This episode was so full of yay, I don't want to make a list that long. Excellent installment
The creatures the show creators come up with are certainly interesting.  I thought the critter was extremely cute.  Sokka's interations with Fu Fu Cuddly Poops were certainly amusing.  I just wish that Sokka wasn't made to be the butt of so many jokes.  He needs a meatier role.
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Kanelle
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« Reply #32 on: Jun 04, 2006 10:23 am »

I've seen something like what Toph did with the rocks.



It's a Magician's pet in the game Everquest.  It has the ability to "root" things (stick them to a specific spot of ground) and there are a few players who can look like one threw a Illusion spell.
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Savitri
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« Reply #33 on: Jun 04, 2006 07:04 pm »

I think that this is probably one of my all time favorite episodes.  Zuko trying desperately to make tea for Iroh brought back some wonderful childhood memories for me and had me grinning from ear to ear.  I also loved hearing Iroh say that Azula needs to go down.  I would love nothing more than to see Zuko kick his sister's butt all over the known world.

Being a lover of all things furry, I adored Fu Fu Cuddlypoops.  I thought that this episode actually gave us some insight into Sokka's character - after all, we did finally get to see him with his hair down.  Although he made a lot of jokes throughout his predicament, I think that he believed he might not get out of that situation alive.  He was trying to say something meaningful to Katara at the end of the episode, but Aang interrupted with a demonstration of his newly acquired earthbending talent.  Acastus and I were both wondering what Sokka had intended to say.  There was no sarcasm in his voice....he was about to say something from the heart.  Based on Iroh's characterization of the Four Nations, my guess was that he was going to say something about the importance of family.  I guess that we will never know.

The thing that struck me the most from this episode was that for the first time we had two major characters addressing the "heavens."  Visions of pantheons and theogonies danced in my head.  Sokka was trying to make a deal - meat and sarcasm for his survival.  (Although in all fairness to Sokka, I cannot quite imagine how he could have possibly grown up as a vegetarian living amongst ice and snow and a distinctive lack of vegetation.)  Zuko was throwing down the gauntlet - go ahead smite me!  I keep wondering who or what where they addressing?  This is the first indication that I can recall of characters reaching towards the "great unknown" as if it had purpose and cognisance.  Both characters addressed the sky.

For some time now I have been wondering whether "gods" and "goddesses," in the Greek, Roman and Hindu understandings, people the world of Avatar.  Thus far, we have seen only "spirits" - the Ocean Spirit and the Moon Spirit being the two big ones.  The Greeks, Romans and Hindus certainly acknowledged the existence of spirits, the world was full of them.  However, there were only a set number of actual all powerful immortals - that number differing from culture to culture.  We know that the Avatar is not a deity - he has extraordinary powers and is the embodiment of the Spirit of the World....he is not, however, immortal.  His spirit continues to recycle itself, but in a mortal body.  Are there, then deities, separate from spirits, in the world of Avatar?  Or by "spirit" do the creators of Avatar mean "god" or "goddess"?  Were Sokka and Zuko addressing the same deity/spirit?  What is the nature of theogony in Avatar?
« Last Edit: Jun 06, 2006 08:10 pm by Savitri » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: Jun 04, 2006 07:37 pm »

Uugh...I havn't been able to see it yet...probably not even till tomorrow! *cries* (It's waiting for me on the DVR...calling me...but alas, my parents keep us apart. lol)

...Speaking of which, Zuko CRIES?!?  Sounds like he finally cracked, the poor dear. Sad

Glad to hear Iroh's okay. *whew* ^^; 
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« Reply #35 on: Jun 04, 2006 07:41 pm »

I feel so bad for Zuko!! Yelling on top of a mountain then crying...not ones way tospend a friday night DX
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« Reply #36 on: Jun 04, 2006 09:39 pm »

Hullo everyone.  Long time lurker, first time poster!

Anyway, I agree with the idea that Zuko's failure has more to do with his attitude than his actual skill.  All of the types of bending appear to be fuelled (at least in part) but the mindset of the bender. 

I think it's important to note that whenever Zuko does something good, he's always using his broadswords.  Yet he avoids divulging his real identity when he pulls out his knives.  Until "Zuko Alone" he always used an alias to go with the broadswords, and as yet I don't think he's ever employed them around Iroh or his sister.  When child-Azula confronted child-Zuko about "playing with knives" she spoke as though it was a secret she'd found out.  Zuko was quick to hush her up.

The Zuko that fights hand to hand is the self that Zuko wants to be - the self that he wants to show to the world.  That self fights as a fire nation prince should, to his reckoning. 

But the Zuko that fights with swords is the person that Zuko actually is - the self that Zuko doesn't want anyone to see.  That's the little boy that loved his mother more than anyone, the young teen that defended the Fire Nation soldiers, and the young man that freed the Avatar.  Iroh was absolutely right.  Zuko is ashamed of himself for not being the prince that his father and grandfather wanted.  He's probably been that way since the time that Azula started to show her prodigal powers. 

Until Zuko has enough confidence to use his swords without caring what anyone thinks, he's not going to be able to bend lightning.  But he'd getting there.  In his fight against the corrupt earthbender, they were the strength that he fell back on, and for a brief moment he was willing to be himself, name and all.

... that was progress that the Earth kingdom villagers doused by immediately making Zuko feel ashamed about being the exiled Fire Prince.  But it was progress nonetheless!

Azule is probably such a great firebender because Firebending is all about desire and will, and Azula has absolute confidence in her own ability to get what she wants.  It's all in the mind.
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« Reply #37 on: Jun 04, 2006 10:40 pm »

Uugh...I havn't been able to see it yet...probably not even till tomorrow! *cries* (It's waiting for me on the DVR...calling me...but alas, my parents keep us apart. lol)

...Speaking of which, Zuko CRIES?!?  Sounds like he finally cracked, the poor dear. Sad

Glad to hear Iroh's okay. *whew* ^^; 
I am actually happy for him.  He needs a good cry more than anyone on the show.
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I haven't given up hope yet. ;_;

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« Reply #38 on: Jun 04, 2006 10:45 pm »

Well, I like the sword theory, but another point about why he doesn't use them is that it's generally not a good idea to use what are presumably steel weapons against someone that shoots lightning bolts.  If he didn't already have enough trouble avoiding the lightning, waving around two highly-conductive swords certaintly wouldn't help his predicament.
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« Reply #39 on: Jun 04, 2006 11:35 pm »

I agree with your Zuko theory about multiple selves.  He's going to need to find his true self and let go of what has been engrained in his head about who he should be by the people who abuse him before he can truly master firebending.  Only when his true self can come out of the struggle within him will he be able to be calm inside and have a clear mind.  I think he may have a revelation of some sort on that mountain, and if not, sometime soon.  Something will awaken inside him that tells him to heed his mother's words and be who he truly is.  Then will the search for himself be over, and his quest for firebending ability begin.
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Zukofan
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« Reply #40 on: Jun 05, 2006 01:24 am »

WOA!  Just looked at the screen caps.  Those last couple ones of Zuko are...a little scary, to say the least.

Ohhh I'm just dying to see this...!
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MonCapitan
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« Reply #41 on: Jun 05, 2006 02:12 am »

If you have IE, Flash and XP you can see it on Turbo Nick.
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Firelord Sunny
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« Reply #42 on: Jun 05, 2006 02:42 am »

nah i hate turbonick as it doesnt concidrer those on macs or linux, or those on lowspeed connections.
that is the only reason why i direct people to youtube, sure it is "illegal" but hey at least you tube doesnt have redicculus demands.... yet.
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Space, the final frontier...
These are the voyages of the flying bison Appa.
His ongoing mission, to explore strange new worlds,
To help Aang seek out new bending masters and escape the firenation.
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« Reply #43 on: Jun 05, 2006 02:48 am »

There is one thing that bugs me about the episode.  The are quite a few animation errors.  There are scenes where Aang has boots on when he is supposed to be barefoot.
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Kit
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« Reply #44 on: Jun 05, 2006 02:56 am »

WOA!  Just looked at the screen caps.  Those last couple ones of Zuko are...a little scary, to say the least.

Yeah.  I took a look at them in the wee hours of Saturday morning, before I saw the repeat (I had missed the last three minutes of Friday's show) and I was both disturbed and curious.  It was that close-up of Zuko's head with his mouth wide open.  Looks freaky as hell.
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BisonTamer
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« Reply #45 on: Jun 05, 2006 11:47 am »

Most of the action junkies probably didn't like Bitter Work, but it wasn't meant to be an action piece. It was meant to show some character growth, which it did.

First off, I'm very glad to see Iroh up and moving again. Yes, he's still bandaged up and not at 100%, but at least he's not dying anymore.

Toph's teaching method regarding earthbending brought back what King Bumi said about airbenders in The King of Omashu - "Avoid and evade" was how he described the airbenders' style of fighting, and Toph knew right away hat Aang was trying to do.

It's interesting Katara pointed out that fire and water were opposites, just as earth and air are. I wonder, then, why Aang is learning earthbending as his third discipline and not firebending.

So I'm an idiot. Lightning is a form of firebending, but a very special form. I get the feeling Zuko doesn't have the temperament to do it, and if an opponent got Azula rattled enough, she probably couldn't either.

So Lu Ten is Iroh's son. I still believe Lu Ten died in the war - most likely at the siege of Ba Sing Se. That little dream sequence was something I've been waiting for a long time.

My sympathy for Zuko had been going down for a while, but it came back during the last scene. Forever put down and frowned upon, when he wanted fate, karma, the gods or whatever to strike him, they wouldn't - adding another defeat in his mind.

I was also happy to see Iroh's sense of humor is intact. His little lesson about the four nations was very Zen-like.

Favorite line: Iroh said, "She's crazy and needs to go down." Awesome. I think every Avatar fan was cheering at that.

Overall, a pretty good episode. Now we wait until the next new eppy is aired.

P.S.: I watched this thing about four or five times, but I can't understand what Toph yells at Aang when she pops up behind him and when she hits those two towers of rock he's standing on while working out with the weight. Was it "Rockalide" or "Rockslide" or something?
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« Reply #46 on: Jun 05, 2006 02:04 pm »

I believe she says, "Rock like!" In that, she must be talking about his stance, in which he has to be as "stubborn" as the element of earth. Rock like.

Of course, I could be wrong.
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« Reply #47 on: Jun 05, 2006 09:16 pm »

No, you're not.  It's rock-like.  She's telling him to be rock-like and hold his ground, not to fall back or back down.  When she says it she adds some twist to the challenges intended to make him fall over if he wasn't steady and "rock-like", checking to see if he was getting it right.
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« Reply #48 on: Jun 05, 2006 11:51 pm »

I thought it strange that Iroh persists about Zuko's shame. It must be deep to suppress the fire of someone so angry.
I don't know if it's been suggested, but my theory is that the flashbacks from 'Zuko Alone' lead up to these events: Azula was telling the truth about Azulon. He had pulled a classic test of loyalty and removed Ozai's bumbling firstborn from the line of inheritance in one stroke, while putting him at a disadvantage by pretending to disagree with his son's sinister but rational claim on the throne. When Ursa learned of this, she naturally challenged Azulon and both died as a result, leaving Ozai to explain it any way he wanted.
If Zuko really believes his mother died because he's an inadequate bender (and his surviving family openly agrees) he might be crippled by doubts about his ability. Maybe even want to get hit by lightning.

His desperation to control lightning ruthlessly as Azula does is what prevents him being its conduit. In fact, he may believe ruthlessness is the key to unlocking his abilities as it was for Azula and his father. It may take a jolt like losing his uncle to dislodge the notion, so I agree with Wraith that the dream sequence and the lightning stance foreshadow Iroh knowing he will not always be around.

Antimony, that is a fantastic theory about Zuko's swords. I never noticed, but of course he would be ashamed of his bladesmanship if he thought of it as a compensation for his weaker bending skills.
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ibec
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« Reply #49 on: Jun 06, 2006 12:17 pm »

Hello...Loved this epi...

Loved the way Zuko looked when Iroh was teaching him...very calm and putting attention to everything when he was seating down...I hope that he will be calmer now and will clear his mind, heart and anger...to be the great firebender he deserves to be...*sends kisses to Zuko* Grin

Good thing Aang is not giving up so easy to learn earthbending...I wonder how he will act when he starts firebending...and how will Katara act/feel...will she stay to watch on the sidelines...or go somewhere else...so that she does not feel bad...like in the other epi where Aang burned her... Embarrassed

Did anyone notice...? but it looked to me that the same ghost town from "The Chase" was in the background in this epi where Iroh and Zuko were practicing...I guess Iroh being badly hit Zuko could only take him so far and aid him...by the way...seems like Zuko knows good first aid...jejeje...good job on his uncle's bandages... Cheesy

All in all...a great epi...and I agree that Sokka is ready for a change. I hope he keeps his promise and starts at least training to become a great warrior...he just needs to get somewhat serious about training...Hopefully he will... Undecided


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